Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


FA hit by £1.6 million funding cut as grassroots wither

27 March 2014, 18:36

Astana - The Premier League is booming, player car parks overflow with Ferraris and Bentleys and season ticket prices at top clubs have reached eye-watering levels, but grassroots football is withering, according to Sport England.

Participation levels are falling sharply in the country's national sport, leading to 1.6 million pounds ($2.65 million)being slashed from the Football Association's grassroots funding package from government agency Sport England.

The FA, which celebrated its 150th anniversary last year, are the biggest losers with golf and rowing also among the six sports to have public finding reduced.

Sport England figures reveal a 100,000 drop in people playing football for at least 30 minutes a week since this time last year, although the FA argue that pressure on cash-strapped local authorities is behind the problem with poorly-maintained parks proving too expensive for local clubs.

"Sport England have got a job to do I understand they're trying to get more adults to play and the payment system is fair," FA general secretary Alex Horne told Reuters at the UEFA Congress in Astana, Kazakhstan.

"We have to look at the decline in our numbers playing but among our concerns is local authority cuts, 80 percent of our football is delivered on local authority pitches and we know the pressure that local authorities are under.

"They pass on price increases and that puts pressure on people when they're time poor and cash poor in these tough economic times."

Horne also blamed poor weather in the past couple of winters for driving down participation levels.

"I am not just blaming the weather but it's an indication and it's no surprise our numbers are down," he said.

"But we do spend the best part of one million pounds a week investing in grassroots, so £1.6m is important for us.

"We'll continue to work with Sport England and our other partners in grassroots to try and keep the game growing."

While so much money is swishing around at the top end of the game, with top professional clubs investing millions in fancy academies, the reality for millions of recreational players is pot-holed pitches littered with dog excrement, wonky goal posts and dilapidated changing rooms.

Sport England said the cut was a clear message for the FA to make playing the game, rather than watching it on the sofa, more attractive to the masses.

"I think this is a serious message to the FA. We've invested, over four years, 30 million pounds of public money in the FA so they have a real responsibility to spend it wisely and deliver results," Sport England chief executive Jennie Price said in an interview on the BBC.

"Taking 1.6 million away is a real sign they need to do something different and I think they will take it seriously."

Sport England said the 1.6 million pounds would be re-invested in other grassroots football programmes.

Other governing bodies to have their UK Sport funding cut are golf, netball, hockey, mountaineering and rowing.

"I want these decisions to send a clear message to those NGBs who need to change," Price said.

"This year, we are removing up to 10 percent of their future investment, and we will be working with them to improve their plans."

- Reuters


WRAP: English Premiership

24 October 2016, 07:16

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
S Mbinya
How to get rid of cellulite at ho...

Proper diets and a healthy lifestyle are among the most effective natural remedies for cellulite. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Peter Kenneth is not a good leade...

A local activist has slammed the former Presidential candidate Peter Kenneth for only appearing during elections but going underground when the country has problems.  Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Javelin champion Julius Yego invo...

He is undergoing treatment at the Medihill hospital in Eldoret. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...